Pedestrian Bridge Features Landscaping, Scenic Overlooks and Local Artwork
Connects North and South Sides of Amsterdam Across the Erie Canal
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of the $17.5 million Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook in Amsterdam. The pedestrian bridge connects the city’s south side to the downtown area across the Erie Canal and features scenic overlooks and local artwork. The project complements the state’s record $27 billion investment in roads and bridges, primarily in Upstate New York.
"This majestic scenic overlook is both a means to reach a destination and a destination in itself," Governor Cuomo said. "The completion of this project will attract new visitors to the City of Amsterdam, increase regional tourism and help fuel economic growth in the Mohawk Valley."
Governor Cuomo first announced construction of the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook in the summer of 2014, and the end result is a park-like environment traversing the Erie Canal, featuring landscaping along its borders, scenic overlooks and benches and artwork by local artisans. The connection between the city's south side to downtown allows Erie Canalway Trail users to easily cross the Canal to access the amenities that the City of Amsterdam has to offer.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul attended the ribbon cutting ceremony today along with Congressman Paul D. Tonko, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort and Mayor Michael J. Villa.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said, "Governor Cuomo's unparalleled commitment to revitalizing Upstate New York is a key to transforming the region and this project is a catalyst for development in the City of Amsterdam. Major infrastructure investments like the pedestrian bridge will not only provide benefits for the Mohawk Valley today, but are laying the foundation for future economic growth."
The structure, 511 feet long with a 600-foot radius double reverse curvature, incorporates artistic elements that showcase the historic City of Amsterdam and creates a space for people to admire the beauty of the Erie Canal and the Mohawk River from a unique new perspective. Additionally, boaters docking at Riverlink Park on the north side of the Erie Canal will be able to walk through the park and cross the bridge to access the Erie Canalway Trail and other stores and businesses on the south side.
The original $16.5 million project was funded under the Rebuild and Renew New York Transportation Bond Act approved by voters statewide in 2005. For the artistic elements on the overlook, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara secured an additional $1 million from a pool of available state funds allocated specifically for waterfront projects.
Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation Chair Joanne M. Mahoney said, "Once again, Governor Cuomo has demonstrated his commitment to enhancing communities across Upstate New York by investing in their infrastructure. The newly constructed pedestrian bridge over the Mohawk River is a direct result of the cooperation between the City of Amsterdam and New York State and will spur tourism and economic benefits in the Mohawk Valley region."
Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Bill Finch said, "This new footbridge over the Erie Canal creates a distinct place for locals and visitors to enjoy the scenery, and also connects them with the bustling downtown Amsterdam. The creative elements of this bridge will appeal to art lovers, families and tourists alike and will draw visitors from all across the Empire State and beyond to experience Upstate New York’s natural beauty."
Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, "The completion of this park over the water creates a destination for mariners and pedestrians alike to take in the incredible views of the Erie Canal. Canalway Trail bikers, walkers, and runners will be able to seamlessly cross over the river and discover what downtown Amsterdam has to offer. I applaud the Governor Cuomo for his dedication to revamping the historic City of Amsterdam for generations to come."
Congressman Paul D. Tonko (NY-20) said, "The Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook grand opening marks another step forward as we continue to work together to transform and improve the economy of Amsterdam and all of Montgomery County. When we improve the infrastructure and recreational amenities of our communities, we encourage businesses to move to our region, expand, and hire locally. This is a project we can all be proud of, as it reflects on our rich history and heritage and builds a path toward a bright future. I could not be happier to see its completion."
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, "This new pedestrian bridge presents many new and exciting opportunities for the city of Amsterdam and Montgomery County. After visiting the region last summer and meeting with Assemblymember Santabarbara, I know this new bridge will do much more than just connect the city. It will revitalize the local economy and truly transform the community by enticing both tourists and residents to come and enjoy the beautiful Mohawk Valley."
Senator George Amedore said, "The Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook will offer residents and visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the Mohawk River. Along with planned improvements to the Canalway Trail, this adds to Montgomery County’s efforts to boost tourism and economic growth throughout the region."
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said, "The completion of the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook marks an important step in the ongoing revitalization of the great City of Amsterdam. This transformational project is destined to be a unique regional attraction unlike any in this area of New York State and now stands as a centerpiece in Amsterdam’s waterfront that will be recognized across the region. Local families, residents and future generations can take pride in being a part of history today. Together, we are ensuring a stronger, vibrant community for one of the only cities that can realize economic growth on both sides of the Mohawk River. It's not only economic impact for local businesses and new investments that come with this project, we are also connecting communities and uniting Amsterdam."
Montgomery County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort said, "The opening of the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook pedestrian bridge helps showcase the Mohawk River and the Erie Canal — two of our greatest resources. The bridge celebrates this area’s rich history and strengthens the connection from downtown to the south side neighborhoods and the Erie Canalway Trail, a wonderful recreational asset. As we continue to invest along the river and throughout Montgomery County, this is certainly a significant step forward and a component of our downtown revitalization efforts."
Mayor of the City of Amsterdam Michael J. Villa said, "This is a great day for Amsterdam and the Mohawk Valley - a great step forward in being able to show everyone why this is a great place to live, work, or visit."
The pedestrian bridge was designed by Ammann and Whitney of New York City with the assistance of Saratoga Associates of Saratoga Springs and MJ Engineering of Clifton Park. Kubricky Construction of Wilton recently completed the construction and landscaping on the bridge in late August. The New York State Canal Corporation owns the bridge and will be responsible for all capital improvements, while the City of Amsterdam assumes responsibility for general maintenance and upkeep.
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